Natural gas stockpile levels rose last week as expected, the government said Thursday.
The Energy Department's Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that natural gas inventories held in underground storage in the lower 48 states grew by 31 billion cubic feet to about 1.67 trillion cubic feet for the week ended April 2.
Analysts expected a build of 29 billion to 33 billion cubic feet, according to a survey by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.
The inventory level was 12.1 percent above the five-year average of about 1.49 trillion cubic feet, and a fraction of a percent below last year's storage level of about 1.67 trillion cubic feet, according to the government data.
Natural gas fell by 13 cents to $3.889 per 1,000 cubic feet on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
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